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AU funds research networks that will contribute to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals

Two new network projects at Aarhus University have been established in order to generate new knowledge that can help society achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The networks are funded by the Committee for Research and External Cooperation at AU with DKK 1 million each.

The two newly established research networks at AU have both global and local aspects.

The first project, “New Foods for Physical and Mental Well-Being”, is working with several partners in countries such as New Zealand, France, Canada and Denmark – including Aarhus Municipality – to conduct research on and develop sustainable food production, with the specific purpose of improving the well-being of disadvantaged citizens. The project is headed by Professor Milena Corredig who is the centre director of Aarhus University’s Centre for Innovative Food Research (iFood).

“Inequalities can at times be prevented by identifying how to provide affordable, accessible and appropriate nutrition and diets. The network will focus on growing evidence based food innovation towards maintaining the physical and mental health and well-being of individuals, at any stage of life,” says Professor Milena Corredig.

The second project, “Overcoming the Challenges of a Circular Economy”, will conduct research into circular economy and how this approach can contribute to the SDGs. The network’s partners include Aarhus BSS, Arhus University Hospital, Herning Municipality and Dansk Affald. The project is headed by Professor Sanne Wøhlk from the Department of Economics and Business Economics.

“By now, it is a well-known fact that society needs to move from a linear to a circular resource consumption. The goal of this research project – in close collaboration with our partners from the industry – is to address some of the challenges of a circular economy,” says Professor Sanne Wøhlk.

AU’s senior management is looking forward to following the work of the newly established interdisciplinary networks – and also stresses how important it is for the university to contribute to the work with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

“In connection with the SDG conference here at AU earlier this year, we decided to establish research networks with a particular focus on the UN SDGs. As a university, it is important that we play a role in achieving these goals, and so I am very much looking forward to following these two exciting new projects,” says Rector Brian Bech Nielsen, who is also the chair of the Committee for Research and External Cooperation at AU.

The two network projects are both funded by the Committee for Research and External Cooperation at AU with approx. DKK 1 million each over a two-year period – from mid-2019 to mid-2021.


In connection with the sustainability conference at AU in February 2019, the Committee for Research and External Cooperation (UFFE) announced that they would fund two or three networks based on partnerships between AU, government agencies and institutions and the business community.

The search criteria included that the network should address at least one of the SDGs, should demonstrate a possibility for additional external funding and demonstrate the project’s sustainability beyond the grant period.  

UFFE received a total of 12 applications for establishing networks – and two of the promising projects have now been selected to receive funding for a two-year period.